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Mindful : August 2017
“It’s a genetic imperative for us to care...essential to the survival and flourishing of our species.” we might never know and never meet, every day of our lives, all around the world,” she says. There’s no denying that it takes effort to set the intention to see our fundamental connected- ness with others. In a certain sense, the path of least resistance in life is survival, getting by— doing the least to complete what’s necessary to put food on the table and stay safe. If we stretch ourselves to open our minds, to see our shared humanity with others, we allow ourselves to see the existence of community and generosity in unexpected places. We just need to challenge ourselves to opt for the path that may take a little more effort but actually helps us let go of our conditioned resistances. Yet it’s also true that we miss a lot when we push for unity at the expense of understanding the differences in context, experience, hopes, and fears we each may have. It’s all too easy to slip into a “we’re all alike at the core, so we should all get along” kind of statement. It’s not real love if we don’t also honor our differences— as long-term couples and friends find out, and as communities and workplaces also find out. Just think about what it’s been like when you are in a place—a group, an event, a training session—where you have the feeling “I belong here,” in contrast to what it’s like when you are in a place where you sense you don’t belong: the uneasiness, the uncertainty about social cues, 74 mindful August 2017 insight